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#Men'sFirstTeam #PremierLeague #MatchReport #Chelsea

Second-half double gives Blues the points - match report and reaction

Chelsea 2-0 Spurs

Sun 23 January 2022, 18:30|Tottenham Hotspur

Two goals in the opening stages of the second half condemned us to defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

Having gone in goalless at the interval – and seen a Harry Kane goal controversially disallowed – Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva struck in the 47th and 55th minutes respectively to settle the contest and inflict the first Premier League defeat on Antonio Conte since his appointment as our Head Coach.

Chelsea had the better of the first half and restricted us to just 25 per cent possession but when half-time arrived, both sides had managed just one shot on target each and we’d also had a goal ruled out, Kane adjudged to have pushed Thiago Silva before he put the ball in the Blues’ net.

Ziyech opened the scoring for the home side with a stunning curler before Thiago Silva headed home from a corner and we struggled to really test Kepa Arrizabalaga in the Chelsea goal, Kane’s header which forced him into a save late in the game our only real clear opportunity.

Familiar story at the Bridge

Having suffered defeats to Chelsea in both legs of our Carabao Cup semi-final earlier this month, not to mention a 3-0 loss at home in the league, this was an opportunity to right some wrongs but it ended up being a familiar tale of woe. Kane’s disallowed goal will certainly be a talking point as his touch on Thiago Silva’s back didn’t seem too hefty yet it sent the Brazilian tumbling and left Kane with time and space to control Ryan Sessegnon’s ball and slot home. But referee Tierney intervened and VAR upheld his decision. Had we gone in 1-0 up at half-time, it might have been a different story.

We had to weather a bit of an early storm as the home side started well and carved out chances, Romelu Lukaku heading over the bar after just 43 seconds, Callum Hudson-Odoi heading wide at the far post before Ziyech’s right-foot curler was punched away by Hugo Lloris. Our first sight at goal came on 14 minutes when Harry Winks burst through midfield and hit a 20-yard shot with his left which Arrizabalaga saved low down while chances then came at either end – Lukaku missing his kick in front of goal from Mason Mount’s cross on 32 minutes and then Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg poked the ball through for Ryan Sessegnon down the left and he raced into the area but dragged his shot right across goal.

The moment of controversy came five minutes before the interval and the impact of the disallowed goal was felt even more by us on 47 minutes when Chelsea took the lead. Hudson-Odoi came infield off the left wing and squared to Ziyech, who shifted the ball onto his left and hit a 22-yard curler which was virtually unsavable as it went in right in the top left-hand corner of Lloris’ goal. Just moments later, Ziyech struck another fierce drive, but this time Lloris dived to his left to push it away while Mount fizzed one just over the bar as Chelsea continued to have the upperhand. And they doubled their lead on 55 minutes, Thiago Silva heading home Mount’s free-kick following Eric Dier’s foul on Hudson-Odoi out on the left.

We made a double switch with Lucas Moura and Oliver Skipp replacing Sessegnon and Japhet Tanganga and had another effort on goal immediately but Bergwijn’s volley on the turn was easy for Arrizabalaga. There wasn’t a great deal of goalmouth action in the final stages as Chelsea were able to see out the game without too much danger. A better final pass on a number of occasions might have created clearer opportunities but we couldn’t find that killer ball and instead, just the one chance came our way when Winks sent over an outswinging corner which Kane met unmarked in the box, but Chelsea’s keeper was equal to the effort.

Unwanted history

There was an unwanted record set with this result, as this was the first time in our history that we failed to score in six consecutive matches against the same opponent. Our last goal against Chelsea was scored by Erik Lamela in the Carabao Cup tie at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in September, 2020. We now have just one win in 37 games at Stamford Bridge in all competitions since 1990.

In team news, Antonio Conte made four changes to the team that started against Leicester City on Wednesday night. Eric Dier was back after injury and was joined in the team by Matt Doherty, Sessegnon and Steven Bergwijn, coming in for Skipp, Sergio Reguilon, Emerson Royal and Lucas, who all started on the bench.

Reaction on Spurs TV

'The players have given everything'

"For sure, I’m very disappointed for a first defeat in the Premier League," said Antonio Conte after the game. “On one side, we have to be disappointed for the defeat but on the other side, we have to know that the players have given everything."

Highlights on Spurs TV

Chelsea 2-0 Spurs

Chelsea (4-1-4-1): Kepa, Azpilicueta (c), Rudiger, Thiago Silva, Sarr, Jorginho (Kante 73), Ziyech (Saul Niguez 90+1), Mount, Kovacic, Hudson-Odoi (Alonso 87), Lukaku. Substitutes (not used): Bettinelli, Pulisic, Werner, Chalobah, Barkley, Havertz.

Spurs (4-4-2): Lloris (c), Tanganga (Skipp 56), Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Doherty, Hojbjerg, Winks (Bryan 89), Sessegnon (Lucas 56), Bergwijn, Kane. Substitutes (not used): Gollini, Royal, Rodon, Reguilon, White, Scarlett.

Match data

Goals: Chelsea – Ziyech 47, Thiago Silva 55.

Yellow cards: Chelsea – Thiago Silva, Jorginho; Spurs – Tanganga.

Referee: Paul Tierney.

Venue: Stamford Bridge.

Weather: Light cloud, light winds, six degrees.

Attendance: 40,020.